Final Fantasy is feared to be a dying franchise that has long passed it's peak to Square Enix...

Clangeddin

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This interview is being blown out of proportion here.


Most likely it was just a PR spin that came out wrong (he's trying to advertise FF15 here as the one game that will be the new FF7 blablabla I don't believe it for a sec, no way they'd be remaking FF7 so soon if it really was.)
 
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Mako

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@Ejronin That is more or less what I was getting at. Though I agree with most of what you are saying, I hate purists with a passion, as I cannot even begin to understand them. As far as a publishers and developers hell even a players standpoint you are the only crowd officially satisfied. You have everything you want the purest version of the game, playable like the day it was released on modern platforms, with little to no alteration. I am a person who falls in the category of enjoying them try different versions over the years. You can shove your original disc into a ps3 or play the PSN version to your hearts content. I don't subscribe to the idea that your physically being hurt by them releasing a port no matter how many.


@Somebody (forgot your name) yes sales does = how good it is. At least nowadays. My case in point, everybody I've talked to knows of the persona games, still do. Yet they only manage to command a niche market despite the widespread acclaim and reviews. I'm talking near maximum points on nearly every possible media outlet. According to @Ejronin and others this series should be the highest selling video game of all time no? I can't tell you how many articles I've read that puts this series (especially 4) at one of the greatest games of all time. In-fact I've never come crossed a reviewer who said bad things, ever. 


So lets get to the meat, why doesn't games like Dark Souls and Persona sell more? With the latter having a hard time cracking a million? With the truth is to hard to swallow for most, but it surmises to players just don't care about it, making it worse if the collective of humanity is to be counted. Like I said there is a very small margin of people who were sick, or lost a job, or busy during the six month window they usually report sales, but by in large the only number that really counts at the end of the day. Developers and publishers can't feed their family with 4K banners made out of cardboard with the letters "Hidden Jem" or "Cult Hit" at the end of the day the only number that counts is sales, contrary to nearly everyones opinion there is almost never (now a days) that goes under the radar of players, if it's good and it appeals to that fan base it will sell.. eventually. I'm not saying you guys who think sales gauge how good the title is necessarily right or wrong, I'm saying as far as the people who create these games they are telling you you're wrong. I'm saying you don't count.


Lets say Enterbrain released VX Ace  and quite literally achieved zero sales. But reviewers gave it a 10, users who tried the demo gave it a 10. Do you think they care? Do you think they give 2 pennies that there engine was labeled "cult classic" or "hidden jem"? Short answer, no. Why? because sales = everything. Now I know I live in a generation where everybody gets a trophy and everybody counts, I get that. This post flies in the face of that... sadly.
 

AwesomeCool

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@Mako - I don't think publishers care if there game is well received or even considered good.  They just care how much they make.


It is a big reason why many developers leave after a buyout or when the company they work for starts to get big (and thus have to focus on profit more), they are the ones that want to make the good games and are the ones that want there game to be a classic (they care much less about a game having to make a ton of money).


Publishers do not make the games or really care about the game at all really, they are there to generate profit.  That is why nobody wanted to publish Demon Souls at first (they didn't care if people found it fun, they thought it wasn't inclusive enough to get sales and that people didn't like difficulty anymore) and why publishers seem to be chasing after a new popular hit instead of creating the new hit.  Ex: WW2 shooters, MMORPGs, MOBAs, RTS games, etc all add a big jumps of games made in there respective groups (to the point of over-saturation) a few years after the first hit (for they started making the game after they saw the popularity of the first one).  


Did anybody notice that there is now an influx in the Dark Souls style games now that keeps getting bigger and bigger each year (starting in indie and now is even working it's way up to AAA)?


As all of the big publishers are afraid (for good reason) of taking the first step in a new space (unless they are in danger of failing as a company, which is how many of the top game franchises get made, just like how Final Fantasy started).  


Which results in most gamer's feeling like AAA publishers are stagnating the industry,  but they are not really, they are just trying to survive by keeping profits stabilized.  Only releasing a risk for every few safe games, else they will become the next THQ.
 

Ejronin

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@Mako - I don't think publishers care if there game is well received or even considered good.  They just care how much they make.


It is a big reason why many developers leave after a buyout or when the company they work for starts to get big (and thus have to focus on profit more), they are the ones that want to make the good games and are the ones that want there game to be a classic (they care much less about a game having to make a ton of money).


Publishers do not make the games or really care about the game at all really, they are there to generate profit.  That is why nobody wanted to publish Demon Souls at first (they didn't care if people found it fun, they thought it wasn't inclusive enough to get sales and that people didn't like difficulty anymore) and why publishers seem to be chasing after a new popular hit instead of creating the new hit.  Ex: WW2 shooters, MMORPGs, MOBAs, RTS games, etc all add a big jumps of games made in there respective groups (to the point of over-saturation) a few years after the first hit (for they started making the game after they saw the popularity of the first one).  


Did anybody notice that there is now an influx in the Dark Souls style games now that keeps getting bigger and bigger each year (starting in indie and now is even working it's way up to AAA)?


I think there are a few things not given proper scope or consideration here:


1.) Publishers don't care if they're considered good...


While this is true of some publichers and more prominent in US publishers than the Japanese ones, it's generally false. The two biggest offenders are Publishers like Activision and EA, who for a time bought smaller publishers and developers to simply absorb their IP at a loss simply to stop potential. Aside from that, Publishers care very much whether a game sells because that's what makes them money - moved product. Publishers are distributors in this sense. If you're not moving a product, then you're not moving money either. There are several developers out now that have avoided finding large publishers for fear of this and because the money publishers make compared to the money developers make from a publisher is rather large. CD Projekt Red is a self-publishing company which, outside of RTS titles only had The Witcher to claim any fame.


2.) The use of "AAA"


I get the context and know what you're saying by AAA, But it's really a useless in a cultural sense. Sort of like "vegetable" - botanically it's a nonsense word, but it's used in a culinary sense in a common use. The term AAA is typically more about quality of a game, which makes the term subjective and scalar. For example, Dark Souls is technically a AAA title. Who developed it? FROM SOFTWARE. What else have they done? 3D Dot Game Heroes. Who Published both? Atlus. 


3DGH sold a mindblowing (/sarcasm) 160,000 copies total ever. Demon's Souls sold overall  1.7million. Numerically, Demon's Souls did better but in terms of expectation 3DGH actually did superb. Did Sony say it was a mistake to pass on 3DGH or Demon's Souls? well we both know that answer and they gave that response because of numerical success and the potential to run with a franchise. Was it a mistake? yes... it's an amazing title and series and I love that it straight punishes the player for being stupid and weak just like RPGs of old. Tired and want to save? Stop crying a bout it and work for it. Dragon on the bridge giving you problems, too bad sissyboy - buck up or shut up. Forget to stock up before you went out? You'll know better next time because two hours of work to go half a mile is gonna suck all over again. I love it...
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

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 FROM SOFTWARE. What else have they done? 3D Dot Game Heroes. Who Published both? Atlus. 


They were mostly known and respected for the Armored Core series, which is let's be honest a very niche series (but so addictive). but the whole series sold a whopping 6 Millions units across... 20 years ...and 20ish titles...


And Publisher Namco (then Bandai Namco)


In my understanding AAA is less about quality than profitability compared to high expenses development budget and promotional investment. By extension, quality should be expected, but it does not always follow suite.


I think companies started to use AAA in emulation of the Credit Rating Agencies system of notation (as in Moody's, Fitch or Standard's and Poors). A game credited as AAA would mean worth investing, bankable, with a profitable return on investment.


Demon's souls was a success of esteem, opening the door to investment on Dark souls, but that's the huge success of it that allowed Dark Souls II and III to reach AAA status. 
 

Ejronin

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They were mostly known and respected for the Armored Core series, which is let's be honest a very niche series (but so addictive). but the whole series sold a whopping 6 Millions units across... 20 years ...and 20ish titles...
Armored Core was addictive - the parts and building options got me every time. It was like a first person Front Mission. Anyway, yeah, FROM SOFTWARE had a number of titles and none of them were known for being rushed, all of them are fairly solid yet niche-ish. I classify it (Armored Core) along the likes of Ace Combat and Naval Ops: Warship Commander (Koei is another developer / publisher that is really niche when you step outside the Warrior series - I mean, Nobunaga's Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms takes a special mindset to play at length, you need to REALLY like strategy, which I do). 


And Namco Bandai published Demons Souls? Hm... I was certain it was Atlus. 


Oh, wait - I'm in the US, so for me it was Atlus, but if you're in EU, then for you it was Bandai Namco. Gotcha, that's the discrepancy we overlooked. My bad.
 
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Mako

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@Mako - I don't think publishers care if there game is well received or even considered good.  They just care how much they make.


Negative, in-fact most big publishers offer bonus incentives if the game is reviewed above an average of eight. They go to great lengths to protect their IPs  from damage. Except in the case with VII when they were approached by investors to start branching out the series into other mediums VII was offered up as a guinea pig of sorts because it's fanbase was perceived the strongest to survive such experiments.


This isn't a "money grab" by Square I hate that misguided perception I've seen around the web. Nobody, and I mean nobody is attempting a money grab with the JRPG genre. The numbers just aren't there. Real money is in open world, shooters, and even western style RPGs. Ironic thing is by the time VII will be released to the market the same state when it came here the first time (and saved it) a niche market for the crowd of folks looking to tell a tale.
 

Seacliff

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@Mako - I don't think publishers care if there game is well received or even considered good.  They just care how much they make.
There is a reason for companies to care about making good games: reception.


If you continue to make games that are considered crap by the general population, people will eventually stop buying your products.


Of course, there's an exception if your infamous enough... *AHEM*
 

amerk

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Except FFXIII sold very well and the FFXIV reboot is quite successful as well. Then again, was anyone crying over FFIX? Or FFXII? Or even FFVIII, which is also one of the best-selling games in the series despite the constant complaining about that game.


To say Final Fantasy is "losing interest" is blatantly false, and to hope for the death of the series out of such belief is nothing more than think games that people who aren't you like shouldn't even exist.


Final Fantasy XIII did well on the name alone, because up to that point, not enough fans were deterred from the series, and there was a lot of hype built up around it. The problem wasn't the sales, but the reviews, which put SE into a bad light, and generated a lot of distasteful topics throughout the gaming site. Profit alone only goes so far. Even with a decent profit, if enough people hate a game and it receives a lot of negative reviews, it could have an impact on future games.


Based on Tabata's recent comments, I'd say there is some concern with SE over the future of the series. Just a few things I've read over the various gaming articles with quotes from SE or Tabata:


1. They feel Final Fantasy XV is a make or break for the series.


2. They have acknowledged that in spite of the sales, Final Fantasy XIII was not received well among the gaming community.


3. They have gone out of their way to claim that Final Fantasy XV will be a much better game than Final Fantasy XIII.


If they honestly felt that Final Fantasy XIII was truly a success, they wouldn't have to play damage control and PR spin to convince people to buy this game. After all, it's Final Fantasy, and the name alone should be enough to convince others to buy the game. But it seems they are more concerned over the negative reviews and how it might drive people away from future titles.


Maybe they're just being paranoid and reading to far into it. In a few months, we'll all know for sure. And then we can all go on predicting the future with the yet-to-be announced Final Fantasy XVI.
 

Mako

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Final Fantasy XIII did well on the name alone


The first installment, and if that's the only thing to consider then the franchise would be great. It is as you say, it's the direction and the damage that XIII has done...

  1. Final Fantasy XIII (Sold 7~8 Million)
  2. Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Sold 2.5-3 Million)
  3. Final Fantasy XIII-3 (Sold 1.5~2 Million)

Not a good direction they are losing bad. XIII Might have just been the nail in the coffin.
 

Ashouse

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So to be clear, the main idea of the entire thread is that FF13 really sucked?
 

Ejronin

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So to be clear, the main idea of the entire thread is that FF13 really sucked?
Not really. I think the OP and title succinctly summarize and a bit of due diligence would support that.


There was a period in the conversation where FXIII was the golden calf upon the pyre and the idolater showed up, repeatedly jumping onthe fire and wondering why the blaze grew higher (or knowing and being coy), and then portions of discussion led to why different entries strangled what part of life from the franchise.


But is it specifically about XIII, XIII-2, and LR:XIII? No. It has the unfortunate current position as last in the canon single player series. If this conversation happens again in a year, XV will have that mantle and XIII will be the sad off key footnote given credit existing as a relatively unimportant entry against the body of work, only the latest.


Re-imagined, people would say that CoD BO3 killed Cod because of it's unfortunate position because they'd forget the series was a zombie before BO1, Same thing here, but it's harder to see because SquareEnix has been playing Frankenstein with FF for as long as some people have been aware of the franchise. 
 
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AwesomeCool

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There was a period in the conversation where FXIII was the golden calf upon the pyre and the idolater showed up, repeatedly jumping onthe fire and wondering why the blaze grew higher (or knowing and being coy), and then portions of discussion led to why different entries strangled what part of life from the franchise.


:guffaw:  MY SIDES!!!


LOL


(can't wait for FF15 so people can argue about a new FF game)
 

amerk

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:guffaw:  MY SIDES!!!


LOL


(can't wait for FF15 so people can argue about a new FF game)


I can't argue with this. I think Final Fantasy XV gets so much distrust, paranoid freakouts, and negative attention not only because it follows in the footprints of Final Fantasy XIII that so many people love to hate, but also because of how long it's taken to get out, and people still believe this is Versus XIII, just with a different coat of paint and renamed to fit a mainline game in the series.


It'll be out soon enough, and the rumors will either be confirmed or snuffed out, not that it will stop people either way, as they move on to another game to bash and hate.
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

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Ok, what about, for one moment, we consider that we are all here grown up who dislike a game because, well some elements of it do not satisfy us. Maybe we are not gratuitous bashers and haters.


I don't deny that those gratuitous haters exists, but my understanding is that this is not Steam forums here. We are educated and have developed opinions. to be honest, yes they are bashers, but I don't care about them. I actually cared about what my fellow budding game devs here have to say on an interesting topic started by one of us, which sadly got derailed.


I'm fed up of this argument that people just love to hate or bash. not around here. the only basher here was the basher that bashed people expressing their dislike of a single game in the series. Some even where expressing dislike of other game of the series, but that was not provoking insult and dismissal, culminating in a paranoid theory of a conspiracy plot that people were part of a anti FF XIII cult.
 

Ejronin

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Each entry is both same and different; a shell game but in a good way. There's a yet socially unrealized risk in XV, but this time next year we'll know for sure whether the fans are polarized or unified under the new flag. Either way, there's a storm that we have to ride out 
 

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@amerk - Not to mention that 15 is much more action based and less strategic, which is going tick off many people that are old time fans no matter if it is good or bad for the series (people do not like to see there favorite things change into something different then they enjoy).


But really, I do not think there are many people that hate just to hate.  Many people have a reason for it (ex: favorite genre being neglected, series or genre changing a lot, not what they hoped for, keep looking to the next game to see if it matches what they want and end up disappoint, anybody that hypes up the game at all, maybe even jealousy that a game they considered better didn't get attention, etc), even if it could be a very selfish reason or dumb reason.


 I am already disappointed in it personally, for I do not like that type of game.
 

Ejronin

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In defense of an action RPG, history shows many successful titles - the Witcher, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Skyrim. Prior to, were games like SW:KOTR, Shenmue, and Fable.


As each console generation moves forward it becomes more difficult to justify a "classic RPG" in the sense that players gained from SNES / SEGA Genesis. We aren't stuck with a 256 color pallete and 16bits. NVidia just release a 32GB video card with like 382 bit processing. We live in a time where not using that headroom is a ridiculous decision. 


I remember when Disgaea came out. It was one of those that came under most radars. By the time Disgaea 3 came around, one critic wrote how dumb it was for Nippon Ichi to keep with their 2D sprites in a world where 3D TVs and 7.1 surround was the norm. 


I thought, "dude, you don't get the point or reason," but at the same time I understood that if RPGs and JRPGs didn't evolve to fit the available tech, it would die. To fit, they need to move away from the low powered and sparse resources given. It's difficult to make a modern RPG that acts like ones of old in a modern gameing generation, so the move to an action RPG will mean FF will dump some fans and take the risk to reinvest and reinvent itself through means that flex the capabilities of the console and match other games that are also RPG games.


I can handle both styles. For a while we've seen more the action style surface from the menu driven mechanics. XIII was sort of foreshadowing if you paid attention, moreso in the second and third installment. Paradigm shifts were as menu driven while action based as they could get and be comfortable, and its one of the things that series did right. 


The problem with action based is that it's harder to really give a sense of playing a role and reliance on cinematics or a plethora of discoverable lore needs to be in place. Which will FFXV do? I'd guess cinematics if I know Square, and let's face it - few people are lore hunters without some kind of stupid trophy that encourages it. 


I'll measure the effect and execution of XV by its trophies. If it's got a lot of them that award you for exploring then I'll feel they needed to goad the player into it. If they have just progression marker trophies then I will probably feel a bit better about their direction. 


That said, there's a shift in the genre that's been a long time coming and I think most developers can't resist it any further. It's probably the appeal to RPGM to some degree - nostalgic presentation with a modern and personal story. That was one of the big pulls for me anyway.
 

Ejronin

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culminating in a paranoid theory of a conspiracy plot that people were part of a anti FF XIII cult.
Well, my native currency features the Eye of Prominence... And I do wear a hooded garb (especially when it's cold)...I don't like my picture taken...and you'll never see me in public with high ranking political leaders...


Seems fishy to me.


The cake is a lie. Verbal is Kaiser Soze.


I ruin lives, one at a time. It's how we operate in the Illuminati.
 
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